Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Open-faced Turkey Sandwiches

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I have just as many big plans for my Thanksgiving leftovers, as I do for the meal itself.

The leftovers are kind of the best part aren’t they?

Here is one of the ones I am currently dreaming about.

It’s an open-faced sandwich kind of thing.

Open-faced sandwiches just seem more hearty. Which is weird because they are missing a whole piece of bread. But I don’t know. You put two pieces of bread around some turkey and cheese, and it feels like a light lunch. But you take away a piece of bread, spoon on a little more gravy, use a fork and knife, and suddenly it feels like a hearty weeknight supper.

This starts off with a thick piece of sourdough bread that you place under the broiler for a couple of minutes until it gets super crispy and brown on each side.

Then you pile on the turkey as high as you please, a generous dribbling of gravy, and a thick slice or two of a sharp cheddar cheese.

Then back under the broiler it goes for a few minutes more until the cheese starts to bubble and run all over the pan with the hot gravy. Definitely scoop up that gravy and cheese overflow and put it back on your sandwich, or tear off another hunk of bread and rake it up before someone sees you and tries to take some for themselves (Hey, it is a well known fact that The Dude and The Hubs are food thieves).

I’m not going to give you an exact recipe because I’m pretty sure you know how much turkey, cheese, and gravy you would like on a slice of bread. Now go on out to the store and pick up a loaf of sourdough so you can have this on Friday before you go Christmas shopping.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Cornbread Dressing Pops

Seeing as I came in to the food blogging thing only a few months ago, I am admittedly quite late to the whole cake pop party.

Which in a lot of ways, I am so grateful for. Can you imagine the mess The Dude and I would have gotten into if we had attempted to make cake pops?

…on second thought that actually sounds like a great time. I’m gonna file that away for a cold, rainy day activity for us.

So hopefully this isn’t totally awkward that I am bringing these little guys to the table even though cake pops are like so over. But once I had the idea in my head, I just couldn’t let go of it.

Here’s the thing though, I am totally NOT giving you my dressing recipe. Oh no. I’m not even going to go there. Cornbread dressing is kind of a sacred thing down here in the South. And it’s not that I am trying to keep it some big secret, I just don’t want anyone to cry foul because it doesn’t taste like their Grandma’s. I’m pretty sure every cook has there own unique way of doing it that they and their family thinks is superior to anyone else’s anywhere in the world.

So yeah, this is just a serving suggestion for the cornbread dressing recipe that you already have. Notice I keep mentioning cornbread dressing. I am not so sure this would really do with what I consider “stuffing” or the side that looks more like a savory bread pudding with hunks of bread in it. There is nothing wrong with that dish, I just don’t think you could really mold them into balls.

Oh and did I mention that you can make these with leftover dressing as well as the “raw” mix?? I tried it both ways and it worked well each time.

If you decide you want to make them into little pops before you ever bake it, all you have to do is add a little less broth to the mix. You just want it to be slightly drier so that you can easily fold them into little balls in your hand.

If Grandma makes a bit too much dressing this year, and you decide you want to get cutesy with your leftovers, all you have to do is pick up a handful of cold dressing and press and roll it into little balls. Nothing to it.

Place the walnut sized pieces on a greased cookie sheet, and bake them at 375 for about 20 minutes or so until they are golden and crispy on the outside.

Then when they are still warm, insert your little sticks. And voila! Cornbread Dressing Pops! They are so cute, and if you are a crunchy, corner piece taker, you are going to love these balls. They are crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. Seriously, it’s like every bite is a corner piece! How great would these be dipped in gravy or cranberry sauce?

I think they would make a darling presentation dolled up around the turkey. It might also be fun to go ahead and make a pan of dressing like normal, but maybe set aside a little of the mix before hand into balls, and then stick the pops directly into the dressing pan, just for fun. Send me some pictures if you try it out.

And on a completely unrelated note, my little Monkey started walking, and she turns one tomorrow. So this is kind of a big week. Just thought I would share and brag. Thanks.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Well here you go, guys. I submit to you my dutiful pumpkin bread recipe.

And it is pretty darn great if I do say so myself.

The bread is everything you would expect — warm, spicy flavors with a moist, tender texture. But the pesto is what really make this special. It is slightly crunchy from the pumpkin seeds, and a little sweet and slightly tangy from the cranberries. Then there is the zip and kick of the orange juice and zest. You are just not going to believe what it all tastes like together.

I am so in love.

To begin, you need to blend cranberries, pepitas, the zest and juice of an orange, and a little bit of olive oil in a food processor.

If Bing Crosby’s Christmas music had a smell and taste, this would be it. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but I think you will agree once you make it. It’s something about the orange. It just gives the whole thing this warm flavor and smell that is totally amazing. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you decided to just eat all of the pesto by itself on some graham crackers (Dude and I definitely didn’t almost do that) and said to hell with the bread.

But if you do decide to set aside the pesto and go on with the bread, first you will want to stir together your dry ingredients.

My little sous chef may be getting a little full of herself. She kept asking me to taste it and then pointed toward the pantry, demanding that I bring her more “greadients.”

Blend together all of the wet greadients except for the eggs in a mixer until smooth. Once it is well blended, stir in the eggs. Then dump in all of the dry ingredients, and let it come together.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. I made the batter all uneven and higher in some places than others, just to enhance the swirled effect once it is sliced. Then dollop on half of the pesto mixture, and swirl it in with a knife.

Now spoon on the remaining bread batter and pesto using the same process.  When it was swirled to my liking, I sort of pressed it all down with the back of my knife just to make sure that the pesto was down in the bread.

I am so excited for this to perfume your whole house like it did mine while it is baking. Incredible. And I apologize if it gets you in a premature Christmas decorating kind of mood.

So check it out, even though it has a lot of flavor going on, it is still delicious to a three year old.

This would be a fantastic bread to serve up for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (this bread + coffee = heaven). It would also be a great way to knock the socks off of your family on Thanksgiving evening for those who aren’t quite ready to step back up to the turkey and dressing leftovers. And if you can’t wait until Thanksgiving, I happen to know it tastes delicious whilst blog writing on a random weekday as well.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

For the pesto:

1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 tablespoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

For the bread:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside

In a mixer blend together pumpkin, butter, honey, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.

Stir in eggs.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Spoon half of bread batter into a well greased loaf pan. Swirl in half of pesto mixture.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter and pesto and bake for 1 hour.